Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Global Warming and the Rapture:

Ouch. David Kopel of the Volokh Conspiracy has posted a scathing rebuke of Bill Moyers' "lurid and hostile" new column, which argues that right-wing Christians have taken over the government and look forward to environmental destruction because of their belief in the imminent Rapture. Among many other fine points, Kopel notes:

Moreover, at least some of those Americans who believe in the prophecies have actually read the "Book of Revelation." I suspect that Moyers did not bother to do so before writing his screed against "delusional" Bible-believers--or else he would not have twice given the book the incorrect title of "Relevations."

Would you trust a writer who couldn't even give the correct title of the book he was denouncing? A writer who complained about Muslims who believe in the "Koan" or Jews who believe in "the book of Jobs"?

Just so. It should also be pointed out that belief in the imminence of the end need not translate into a lack of concern for the environment. The dying typically express a strong desire to make sure they are "right with the Lord" (as people in the South often put it). Why should those expecting to be taken via the rapture be any different?

And to the extent that getting right with God requires true repentance, and that this requires an end to the sin of making waste of the world, I see no reason why these evangelicals should not be more worried about the environment than those secular leaders who fear no god and believe that (at least as far as they are concerned) the world ends the moment they die.

Of course, this assumes we have good reason to be concerned about alleged apocalyptical disasters like "global warming," an issue about which the scientific community remains very much divided.

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